Specialized Techniques

The Histo Pathology Core offers services that are irregular offshoots of histology, and usually only performed in individual academic or pharmaceutical research lab settings. Services, such as Laser Microdissection and others listed on this page, are technically demanding and somewhat slow throughput, but are of great interest to select clients.

The Core created this separate page as a catch-all for these service offerings that are not easily characterized within any of the other service categories. These additional services are the result of the Core being faced with a research-driven need and its ability to gain expertise in the new technology. The Core has instrumentation and expertise in:

• Biometry, Morphometrics, and Image Analysis — The Core has considerable experience with imageJ software, and has provided service to, or trained, collaborating labs in collecting cell size distributions, enumerating cell frequency, scoring cell migration assays, etc.

• Hardened Materials Biointerface Resin Thinning —The Core is equipped with a line of Buehler metallographic/petrographic thinning instruments for sawing, grinding, and polishing resin-embedded biological materials that have been implanted with hardened steel, titanium, and other alloys, or ceramics. In addition to the Buehler IsoCut Slow Speed Saw, PetroThin Grinder, and AutoMet 300/Ecomet 250 Polisher, the Core has a Leica RM2255 Rotary Microtome outfitted for Tungsten-Carbide resin microtomy.

• Laser Microdissection — The Core has a Leica AS-LMD system capable of laser-dissecting areas of unfixed cryosections cut onto PEN- & PET-foil membrane slides at 6.3x, 10x, 20x, 40x, and 63x objective magnifications.

• Sliding Microtomy — The Core has a Lecia SM2000 Sliding Microtome equipped with a dry-ice reservoir manual freezing stage for sled microtomy. The instrument is primarily used for sequential thick-sectioning to accomplish brain stereology studies.

• SuperMega-Format Paraffin Histology — The Core has supplies and attachments for paraffin processing, sectioning, and staining 2" x 3" specimens. To date, the supermega technology has been used with rat pancreas spreads, to augment studies on islet enumeration/distribution in the x/y axis, as well as studies on hypoxia in rapid-growth murine tumors.

• Vibratomy — The Core uses of a Vibratome 1500 Sectioning System for making thick-sections of living or unprocessed, fixed tissue. The Vibratome is particularly useful for quickly assessing beta-galactosidase reporter expression throughout the breadth of an entire piece of tissue. Tissues for vibratomy are embedded in 2-3 percent low melt agarose or glutaraldehyde-polymerized chicken egg albumin just prior to sectioning.